Kian Panjavi Exclusive Interview

Kian Panjavi Exclusive Interview

Barnhill Community High Sixth Form student, Kian Panjavi has recently won the silver medal in Weightlifting at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games which took place in Samoa in early September.

This interview featured in the Gazette newspaper in October 2015. Please click here to read the article. 


Kian, congratulations on your silver medal! How do you feel about your recent accomplishments?

I am very proud! To qualify for the Commonwealth and European Youth games I had to gain a placement at the British Youth Championships, where I actually ended up winning the British Youth Lifter 2015 title. This has led to me winning the silver medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games. It’s great to know that all my training has gone to good use.

What are your current personal bests?

My Snatch is 103kg, and my Clean and Jerk is 122kg.

What preparation do you go through before a big competition like this?

My coach writes me a full training programme about two months before the competition. I am also put on a special diet to make sure I’m the right weight for the competition weigh-in. For the Commonwealth Games, I had to lose 4kg!

How often do you train?

In the run-up to a competition, I train about 5 – 6 times a week. Other than that I train about 3 times a week on average at my local gym to keep my fitness up.

How do you juggle training and school work?

It can be a challenge to manage my training and also study for my A Levels as I tend to be so busy with one or the other! Thankfully so far, my competitions have been during the school holidays, so right now I can fully concentrate on my studying.

Have you dealt with any setbacks in regards to Weightlifting?

I have had to deal with quite a few injuries over the last year including my shoulder and lower back. I learnt that when your body has adapted for weightlifting, you are not necessarily fit for other sports. For example, at school for Sports Day when I did the 300m sprint, I strained my leg muscles which prevented me training for a couple of weeks.

Why does weightlifting appeal to you more than any other sport?

My whole family are into weightlifting so I have grown up with it. My older sister began training before I was even born and my Dad has achieved plenty of gold medals in the Asian, Iranian, British and English Championships. (Kian’s father, Kazem Panjavi, is a world record holder in weightlifting and also Kian’s coach). My Dad encourages me to have another sport as well as weightlifting, but for now, I only have time for one.

What’s next for you?

I am hoping to gain my Level 2 qualification in Weightlifting coaching, but I have to wait till next July before I can do this as you have to be 18.

I am also going to be training and preparing for the 2020 Olympics, as I believe by then I will be at my peak in my weightlifting career. (The approximate peak age for weightlifters strength and form is said to be 22 – 28).

What advice would you give to other students who would like to progress in weightlifting?

I would say that they would need to make sure they can dedicate themselves to the training and make sure they have the passion for it. Weightlifting isn’t a sport you can drop in and out of.

I would then advise them to come to my Dad’s coaching sessions to ensure they have first-hand, professional training. I could give them a few hints and tips along the way as well!

Kian’s mother, Nosrat, comments:

I am extremely proud of Kian. He is a good boy for his generation as he works hard and shows dedication and commitment to weightlifting.

Tracey Hemming, Executive Head Teacher of The Barnhill Partnership Trust, comments:

I was delighted to welcome Kian back to school following his tremendous achievement in Samoa. He is an excellent example of personal dedication and determination leading to deserved success in an international arena.  As I am new to the school, this is the first time I have met Kian and his mother and was highly impressed at the mature way Kian has balanced his studies with his sporting career, he is an excellent role model for other students and young people.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in weightlifting coaching by Kazem Panjavi, please visit for more information.

Click here to see the full article in the Gazette Newspaper (October 2015).

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